When to See a Dentist
The following situations constitute a visit to a regular dentist office. It’s important to note that regular visits to the dentist are essential for optimal oral health. See a dentist for:
- Repairs to damaged teeth, requiring crowns, onlays, or fillings.
- Root canals.
- Routine dental care, such as teeth cleanings.
When to See an OMS
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have completed extensive training that starts in dental school but includes an additional four years of surgical residency, based in a hospital. This means an oral maxillofacial surgeon is an expert in jaw, mouth and facial surgery and can provide a level of care above and beyond basic dentistry needs, including the administration of anesthesia for various procedures. See an OMS for:
- Oral surgeries such as bone grafting, expose and bond and frenectomy.
- Obstructive sleep apnea.
- Craniofacial, palate or cleft lip surgery.
- Neck, head or oral pathology.
- Trauma to the facial area.
- Corrective jaw surgical procedures.
- Cosmetic surgery of the facial region.
- Facial pain and TMJ
- Tooth extractions.
- Extraction or management of wisdom teeth.
- Dental implants.
Is There Any Overlap Between OMS and Dentistry?
Yes. There are some overlapping treatments that appear in both OMS and dentistry. However, in general, if a patient needs anesthesia for a procedure or requires more than a simple oral repair or maintenance, a visit to an OMS is likely in order.
What if It’s Still Not Clear
Any patient who still isn’t sure if their oral condition or pain falls under the jurisdiction of a dentist or an oral maxillofacial surgeon, they can simply call an OMS and ask if their specific case merits the attention of a specialist in the form of an OMS or could be handled by a dentist.
What About Orthodontics?
Another extension of dentistry commonly confused with OMS and regular dentistry is orthodontics. An orthodontist is a dentist who has graduated from dental school, who then undergoes additional specialized training in straightening teeth. If a patient’s teeth are misaligned, has gaps or their bite is off, their dentist will likely recommend a trip to the orthodontist, which will often result in the patient utilizing braces or retainers in order to straighten their teeth. Although orthodontia is thought of by many as simply cosmetic, ensuring the teeth are aligned properly actually makes it easier to keep teeth clean and healthy and reduces the risk of developing painful conditions affecting the jaw.
All Dental Professionals Have One Goal in Mind
The field of dentistry is broad and encompasses several niche specialties. Each is important to overall oral health and applicable in differing situations. Patients are always advised to make regular dental visits a habit in order to keep their teeth clean and healthy. However, sometimes, patients need more than maintenance and cleanings. That’s when an OMS comes into play. They can help a patient overcome debilitating oral conditions affecting their teeth, jaws and facial regions. Patients are encouraged to contact an OMS to learn more about whether their specific situation would be best addressed by an OMS, dentist or orthodontist.